Road to recovery ‘must include writing off debt’

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CREDITORS might choose to avoid the subject, but they must be prepared to write off a lot of debt if the world’s economy is to recover, a leading economist told an audience in Yorkshire.

James Bevan, who invests funds on behalf of charities, faith organisations and local authorities, said the UK is a significant but small player in the global economy.

He said: “The global financial crisis can be traced to fundamental imbalances that remain in place, with developed economies continuing to over-consume and under-produce despite programmes of austerity and central bank support.

“The good news is that actually the way forward is relatively well understood if we would but grasp it. We need central bankers and government to pursue policies that support real growth and we need cheaper currencies.

“The catch that no one wants to talk about is that we’ll have to write off a lot of debt.”

Mr Bevan, who has been chief investment officer at CCLA Investment Management since 2006, was speaking to a business networking group at The Grammar School at Leeds.

The network brings together parents, alumni and others associated with the school to meet in a professional environment to exchange ideas and hear from inspiring speakers from different sectors on a range of business topics.

Mr Bevan began his City career in 1988 following a period of postgraduate research in applied economics and asset allocation at Cambridge University.